“Is that black cherry yogurt?”


That’s not really the first thing you want to hear when you put your husband’s dinner plate in front of him. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, though–my sauce tonight did look like it came straight out of a Yoplait cup. Luckily, it tasted good.

A few weeks ago, I went out to dinner with my friend Andrea and had this really delicious chicken. Now, being that I don’t eat out very often, it’s really rare that I would ever choose chicken from a menu of endless possibilities. I’m definitely more of a beef and lamb kinda gal. But, when a chicken dish sounds really great, like the one at Cafe 28 does, I go for it.

The dish was described as a pistachio-crusted chicken with a port goat cheese sauce. It was served with garlic potatoes and sauteed swiss chard. Yum. I decided to make a similar dish tonight–the chicken portion, not the whole meal.

I didn’t use port, though. I had some leftover red wine from stew I made the other night (oh and also from, you know, drinking it). I decided to go that route. I promise you the sauce TASTED good, but since I didn’t strain it and also reduced it a little too much, it didn’t really LOOK all that good.

The chicken was delicious and the pistachios tasted really great. I don’t know why I have never used pistachios with chicken, or any main dish for that matter. I guess I always sway toward walnuts and pine nuts, but this was a nice change. The chicken could certainly stand on its own, as sort of an oven-fried chicken alternative. But you know me–I don’t pass up a chance to use goat cheese.

Pistachio Crusted Chicken with Red Wine-Goat Cheese Sauce

2 chicken breast halves
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped or processed
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
flour, for dredging
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine
2 Tbsp. cream or half and half
1-2 oz. soft goat cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix pistachio pieces and breadcrumbs together in a shallow bowl or plate.

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, and then in beaten egg and finally, in pistachio mixture. 

Heat a skillet over moderate heat and add olive oil. Pan fry chicken breasts to brown/crisp up breading–about 2 minutes per side.

Move chicken breast to oven to finish cooking–10-20 minutes, depending how large breasts are.
To make sauce:

Melt butter in a skillet (I used the same one as the chicken, but you don’t have to).

Cook shallot until tender, then add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Pour in wine. Reduce by half.

Stir in cream and cook 1-2 minutes to heat through and thicken.

Sieve mixture, if desired.

Off the heat, stir in the goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

“Is that black cherry yogurt?”

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